Program: Da Sime Jaj
Field Story 1: Twelve days anti-Measles campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
(Reporter Ayesha Tehsin)
Field Story 2: Seminar regarding Fata issues
Field Story 3: Three children of a single family are suffering from skin cancer in Jalozai Camp Nowshera
(Reporter Afzal Khan Mohmand)
Field Story 4: Award Show in Swat district
(Reporter Anwar Anjum)
Anchor Person: Khalida Niaz
Co-Anchor Person: Farid-uddin Shinwari
Summary: Measles epidemic remain a challenge for health care professionals as recent measles outbreak claimed the lives of four children and dozens of others fell sick in Peshawar, Charsadda, and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after being administered intravenous measles vaccines. The killing of children has led to doubts and speculations about the validity of measles vaccination. The government is spending Rs1 billion on two-week measles campaign in the province and for the purpose 50, 000 workers are assigned task to immunize children, but it is necessary to involve professionals and trained workers to avoid such kind of incidents in the future.
âReportâ: In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular and Charsadda in general, measles is fast spreading and it is detected in many children. According to doctors, measles is not a common disease and can prove deadly if a victim child is not properly cured. In this regard, Dr. Farhad said as under:
Dr. Farhad: âIt is an acute and highly transmissible viral disease marked by separate red spots followed by a rash. This viral disease primarily occurs in children. Unaware people consider it a common illness, but it is dangerous and a victim child can fall prey to pneumonia that can take his life. At the same time, it can cause of infertility or unproductiveness among the children. Moreover, measles is easily transmissible from one child to another. Recently three children died in Ajezo and other areas of Charsadda, due to measles. In case preventive measures are not taken, measles can turn into an epidemic disease and can spread fast that will cost more lives. Vaccination is best preventive measure from measles and all parents are requested to vaccinate their children in their local hospitals or health units. Secondly if a child is already suffering from measles, keep him away from other childrenâ.
Reporter: In order to overcome the disease, local health department has launched two weeks measles campaign all over the province including district Charsadda. Under the campaign, more than 0.5 million children would be vaccinated.
Dr. Farhad: âThe drive has been kicked off from 19 May and will continue till 31 May. We will vaccinate children from 6 months to 10 years during special measles campaign. We have set a target of giving measles injection to over 5 lac children and for the purpose 260 teams have been constituted for the districtâ.
Reporter: Both males and females health staff are taking part in the campaign. These workers said they will try to achieve the target within said days.
LHW: âTwelve days measles campaign has been launched in the district. The campaign is door to door and school to school and we will try our level best to achieve the target and prevent the children from this fatal viralâ.
Health technician: âMy name is Zulfiqar Ali Shah, I am personally vaccinating children to protect them from deadly measles. I will try to vaccinate every child in my localityâ. Ends
Khalida Niaz: Mr. Farid Shinwari, measles has so far taken lives of many children in the province. Do you think measles campaign can prove fruitful to eliminate this epidemic disease?
Farid Shinwari: The campaign is not only confined to Charsadda, rather it is continued across the province, aiming to reach out over 9 million children and give them measles injection. Round about five thousand health teams will take part in the drive. Hopefully the provincial government will achieve its target.
Khalida Niaz: Campaign is continued, but through print and electronic media, we came to know that many children in Swat and Kohat districts had become unconscious after measles vaccination.
Farid Shinwari: You are right, about fifty children were vaccinated in a private-owned school in Swat valley for prevention of measles, as a result of which all children fell sick and they had to be taken immediately to the hospital where they later recovered. Such kind of incidents took place in Kohat and Hangu districts as well. This will certainly lead doubts and speculations regarding validity of measles vaccination and parents will not allow it for their children. However this is necessary, since measles has already taken life of many children in the country and only in 2010, about 1008 children have lost their lives, due to measles. Children are our future builders and it is the responsibility of health department that before giving injection to children, they should properly test these injections and make sure that vaccine is not expired. The provincial government is spending millions of rupees on this campaign just to save the children from dangerous effects of measles therefore we must take benefit of this.
Khalida Niaz: On the other hand 66 cases of polio are detected in Pakistan this year, which is a matter of great concern. The most number of cases are reported in North Waziristan, because of security reasons and military operations. Anti Polio drive couldnât be carried out in Waziristan Agency, as a result children are falling victim to polio.
âReportâ: Apart from military operations, there is need of promoting trade, business and cultural activities for sustainable peace and stability in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). These views were expressed by participants of a seminar organized by Fata Research Center in Islamabad. The speakers said Afghanistan is a vast market for Pakistani products and they stressed for promoting Pak-Afghan trade via tribal regions. They said it will not only create job opportunities for Fata inhabitants, but it will overcome ongoing war in the region. They further added that Fata is blessed with immense natural resources and minerals that need to be properly exploited. Head of Fata Research Center, Dr. Ashraf Ali said military operations are continued in parts of the Fata with no positive outcome.
Dr. Ashraf Ali: âThe anxiety you experience when you feel vulnerable and insecure and the same situation is in Fata, which is just aggravating with each passing day. Without wasting any more time, steps should be taken to curb this war and make Fata once again a piece of land. Todayâs seminar was aimed to find out factors responsible for turmoil and instability of tribal regions. We discussed soft options, which are easily practicable in Fata like focusing economy, literature and culture that will automatically pave way for durable peace in the region. Unless economic opportunities are given to the dwellers and those who are involved in unlawful activities, it will be hard to overcome war and terror in tribal beltsâ.
Minister Industries: âIf our people are given employment opportunities, they will never indulge in unlawful activities. There is variety of marble, chromites, gold, coal and Copper deposits etc. produced in Fata that can generate billion of rupees for us, in case these are utilized and imported to rest of the world. The federal government should legalize Parachinar border and Bajaur border to open them for legal trade with other countries of the world. I think the people of Fata and Afghanistan have enough suffered from war and conflicts, they want to come out of this situation and achieve sustainable development and prosperityâ.
Reporter: Afghanistan Ambassador for Pakistan, Mr. Janan Mosazai told CRSS that trade must be boosted between two neighboring countries.
Afghan Ambassador: âFor over a decade, Pak-Afghan trade has been boosted up, which is a good sign, considering the fact that both are facing war and military operations. The incumbent government of Pakistan is keen to strengthen trade ties with Afghanistan as well as to promote tourism, culture, literature and telegraphy between two. There are lots of economic opportunities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, these just needs to be availed. It will be in the best interest of both neighboring countriesâ.
Reporter: Senior Journalist Hassan Khan was of the view that without surety of jobs, peace is unattainable in tribal regions.
Journalist: âFata is left on the mercy of security forces. Government conceives that security forces will first bring peace to the region and then it will start rehabilitation activities. I think, government should adopt a multiple approach and should focus on awareness programs, education, rehabilitation and reconstruction of Fata. There is unemployment at vast level and the number of youth is also huge in Fata, but no job opportunities are available for them. They know nothing except how to shoot. Some elements took benefit of this thing and they misguided tribal youth in the name of Islam. Practical steps are not being taken on part of the state to start trade and business activities or to promote agriculture and other sectors in tribal regions. The people need to be engaged in different works so as they may stay away from negative activitiesâ.
Reporter: In Seminar Khuram Dastigar, federal minister for trade, Sadir Khan, Secretary National Security Division and people from different walks of life participated. Endsâ¦.
Farid Shinwari: Pakistan and Afghanistan share deep rooted historic bonds of faith, culture and tradition. They also share good trade relations since a long time. Pakistan exports its goods and other necessary commodities to Afghanistan via Waziristan, Mohmand Agency and Torkham Border, Khyber Agency. Due to law and order situation, transporters, who carry supplies to Afghanistan are facing problems, particularly drivers carrying goods for NATO forces, are often targeted by militants. Pak-Afghan Torkham Border from Karkahno market to Torkham border is 47km long and it is being repaired currently after almost 60 years, creating problems for transporters and trade community. Pakistan lost about 70% trade with Afghanistan as a result of October 2010 Treaty and now 70% trade is being continued from Iran to Afghanistan.
âReportâ: âI have great wish to return to my homeland. Here in the camp, we are leading a helpless life. I am suffering from illness and pain, but there is no body to take me to the hospitalâ.
Reporter: A female resident of Khyber Agency migrated along with her three children to Jalozai Camp Nowshera, when their region was hit by militancy about two years back. Her husband has passed away while her children are suffering from skin cancer. Her elder son is also unable to earn livelihood for them. This situation forced her to sell ration provided by camp administration to meet their food requirement.
Helpless woman: âI have visited different hospitals in Peshawar and Islamabad along with my ill children, so as they might get free treatment, but no avail. I managed almost 1 lac rupees loan from different resources for treatment of my children, but it was quite insufficient and now more money is required. Their skins have been damaged at several sites and are further affecting. I am also facing severe illness and often fall flat and remain unconscious for hoursâ.
Reporter: Her two daughters and one son are facing skin cancer, however due to poverty, she is unable to bear expenses of childrenâs treatment.
Helpless woman: âIt makes me frustrated and disappointed when I see my children in this helpless condition. Cancer has destroyed the skin of my children and it tends to spread to other parts of their body. I am still not disappointed with Allah and pray to Allah that once he will end our sufferings. Doctors have told me that skin cancer is incurable. They have instructed me to keep the children away from sunlight both in summer and winter. In the camp there is loadshedding and hot that add to the sufferings of mine children. Doctors asked me for buying glasses and caps for them, I canât afford these thingsâ.
Reporter: She says so many problems has destroyed her peace of mind.
Helpless woman: âThey have no Chappal (shoes) to wear. I am unable to meet their basic amenities of life. My mind is full of worries and tension, due to illness of mine children and it has disturbed the peace of my minl6d. I cannot cry anymore, since it will not help me. The apathy that my relatives are also not showing any sympathy with us and to help out me in this hard time. I am not worried about me, rather about the future of my children that what they will do, after my deathâ.
Reporter: There are many such homeless persons in camp, who are suffering different diseases however there is no proper medical aid for them. Endsâ¦.
Khalida Niaz: On one hand lawlessness and chaos forced many people from Fata to migrate from their homelands leaving behind their homes and values, then on the other hand, they are leading a miserable condition in camp too.
Farid Shinwari: Hundreds of IDPs are suffering from Hepatitis in Jalozai camp and most of them cannot afford treatment to their illnesses. In absence of facilities and basic food, these Internally Displaced Children, who are currently residing in camp, can expose to measles and other diseases.
Akhtar Ali Shinwari caller 1: I belong to Landi Kotal, our some relatives migrated from Khyber Agency and they are currently living in Jalozai Camp Nowshera. I recently visited the camp, believe me these tents are made of sub-standard and thin stuff that cannot protect camp residences from sun heat or torrential rains while electricity is also not available for them that add to the miseries of homeless persons. I think it is the moral and ethical duty of every citizen to help out militancy affected people particularly Camp IDPs in this difficult by extending their financial assistance so as to reduce their sufferings.
âReportâ: An award show was organized by Innovative Youth Forum in Swat district, in which people from different walks of life were given awards for best performance in their respective fields. The head of Swat Qoumi Jirga and social worker, Ahmad Shah was also given award for peace promotion. On the occasion a cultural gathering was also organized where video speech of Malala Yousafzai (children rights activist) was presented. The head of the forum, Dr. Jawad Yousafzai said regarding the event as under:
Organizer: âThe prime objective of the event was to show the world that there are competent and intelligent people in this region and this nation has the capability to complete with any developed country of the world in all spheres. However they lack opportunities. Swat is a tourist spot and we invited people from all over the country and to prove them our people can hold such national level eventâ.
Reporter: During her video message, childrenâs rights activist, Malala Yousafzai said as under:
Malala Yousafzai Video Speech: âI am happy that people from different parts of the country visited Swat and they are participating in this event. Swat is a beautiful valley and I am happy that innovative forum is taking initiative for long-lasting peace in the region. Indeed there is a great need to understand and listen to each other and work collectively for peace and development of the country. Without showing tolerance and acceptance for others, neither peace nor development is possible. The youth of Pakistan looks determined and they want to do something better for this country. I hope soon peace will revive in Pakistan and then all children will attend schools without any obstacleâ.
Reporter: Apart from tableaus, music show was also conducted and youth performed on the stage. Singers and local artists were also present on the occasion and they expressed happiness on organizing such event.
Participant: âPeace songs were presented during the function. For upholding of peace and serenity, cultural events are the call of the day in the region, Organizers require to hold such programs time and again to provide cheap entertainment to peopleâ. Endsâ¦.